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Hasbro ‘Ms. Monopoly’ Game Meant to Celebrate Women is Met with Criticism

In the midst of the real world gender-pay-gap battle, Hasbro is releasing a new version of Monopoly where women are celebrated for our achievements and paid more than men.

Beyond shifting the gender-pay-gap, the original game’s famous properties have been replaced with innovations created by women, and instead of building houses, players build corporate headquarters. The game, Ms. Monopoly, also features a new character — the niece of the famous Rich Uncle Pennybags mascot — who is an advocate for investing in female entrepreneurs.

“From inventions like WiFi to chocolate chip cookies, solar heating, and modern shapewear, Ms. Monopoly celebrates everything from scientific advancements to everyday accessories — all created by women,” Hasbro said in a news release Tuesday.

Unlike the classic Monopoly game that lets players collect 200 Monopoly dollars when they pass “Go,” under the rules of Ms. Monopoly, male players will still get the usual 200, but women will receive 240 dollars, reversing the real-world pay dynamics between men and women in the workplace. Female players also start out with 1900 Monopoly dollars, while male players only get 1500.

But Hasbro also noted that “if men play their cards right, they can make more money too.” For example, a female player who gets one of the game’s 16 “Community Chest” cards can collect only 200 Monopoly dollars for publishing an article on successful women entrepreneurs, while a man can earn 250. Actions like watching the newest superhero movie with a female lead will earn female players 50 Monopoly dollars and a male player 100.

Together, these features are intended to highlight the often ignored achievements of women and draw attention to the real-life pay imbalance between men and women, with American women earning roughly 80 cents for every dollar men earn, according to data from the United States Census Bureau.

Hasbro’s new game, however, has earned some criticism for its so-called feminist endeavor, with some saying that the lopsided economics of the game don’t genuinely promote equal pay, but rather just attempt to paint Hasbro’s new game as empowering to women in order to market themselves to and profit off of a certain audience.

The company has also received criticism for barely crediting the original inventor of the game, Elizabeth Magie, who is only mentioned inside the box of the new game. Considering the game aims to celebrate female inventors and entrepreneurship, some argue that this is hypocritical of the company, further emphasizing the game as a hollow attempt at feminism.

“I think if Hasbro was serious about women’s empowerment, they could start by admitting that a woman invented the game,” said Mary Pilon, the author of “The Monopolists,” a 2015 history of the board game.

Ms. Monopoly is now available for pre-order at Walmart and will be available at most major retailers nationwide. The board game will retail for $19.99.

Sources: The New Yorker 9/11/19; NBC News 9/10/19; CBS News 9/10/19; US Census Bureau

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